Radical cystectomy versus organ-sparing trimodality treatment in muscle-invasive bladder cancer: A systematic review of clinical trials

G. Arcangeli, L. Strigari, S. Arcangeli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Radical cystectomy (RC) represents the mainstay of treatment in patients with muscle-invasive urinary bladder cancer but how it compares with the best organ preservation approach is not known. Materials and methods: The objective of our review is to compare the 5-year overall survival (OS) rates from retrospective and prospective studies of RC and trimodality treatment (TMT), i.e. concurrent delivery of chemotherapy and radiotherapy after a transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT), involving a total of 10,265 and 3131 patients, respectively. We used random-effect models to pool outcomes across studies and compared event rates of combined outcomes for TMT and RC using an interaction test. Results: The median 5-year OS rate was 57% in the TMT group, when compared with 52% (. P=. 0.04), 51% (P= 0.02) and 53% (P= 0.38) in the whole group receiving RC or the group treated with RC alone or RC. +. chemotherapy, respectively. The hazard risk (HR) of mortality of patients treated with TMT or RC was 1.22 (95% CI= 1.13-1.32) with an absolute benefit of 5% in favor of the former. The HR of mortality from TMT persisted significantly better not only versus the group treated with RC alone (HR= 1.22; 95% CI= 1.12-1.32), but also versus the group receiving RC+ chemotherapy (HR= 1.22; 95% CI= 1.09-1.36). Multivariate analysis confirmed TMT as a significant prognostic variable for both RC alone and RC + chemotherapy. Conclusion: Compared with RC, TMT seems to be associated with a better outcome for patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC). The addition of chemotherapy may improve the RC outcome in some subgroups of patients with a higher probability of micrometastases. Prospective randomized trials are urged to verify these findings and better define the role of organ preservation and radical treatment strategy in the management of patients with MIBC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-396
Number of pages10
JournalCritical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Bladder-sparing
  • Chemoradiation
  • Muscle-invasive bladder cancer
  • Radical cystectomy
  • Trimodality treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Hematology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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